Singapore University of Social Sciences

Ethics in Counselling (COU208)

Applications Open: To be confirmed

Applications Close: To be confirmed

Next Available Intake: To be confirmed

Course Types: To be confirmed

Language: English

Duration: 6 months

Fees: To be confirmed

Area of Interest: Social Services

Schemes: To be confirmed

Funding: To be confirmed


The course aims at transforming students into professional counsellors who are ethical, therapeutically effective and multiculturally sensitive. The course content will cover professional ethics, the counsellor as a person and as a professional, professional issues in counselling, values and the counselling relationship, multicultural perspectives and diversity issues, as well as client rights and counsellor responsibilities.

Level: 2
Credit Units: 5
Presentation Pattern: Every semester
E-Learning: BLENDED - Learning is done MAINLY online using interactive study materials in Canvas. Students receive guidance and support from online instructors via discussion forums and emails. This is supplemented with SOME face-to-face sessions. If the course has an exam component, This will be administered on-campus.


  • Introduction to Professional Ethics
  • Ethical Decision-making
  • The Counsellor as a Person
  • The Counsellor as a Professional
  • Values and the Professional Counsellor
  • Values Clarification for Counsellors
  • The Ethics of Imposing Values on Clients
  • Values Conflict: To Refer or Not
  • Client-counsellor Relationship
  • Multiple Relationships
  • Boundary Issues
  • Multiculturalism: Definitions and Terminology
  • The Need for Multicultural Emphasis
  • Cultural Values and Assumptions in Counselling
  • Cultural Tunnel Vision and Culturally-encapsulated Counsellors
  • Informed Consent
  • Legal Aspects
  • Educating Clients about Informed Consent
  • The Content of Informed Consent
  • Counsellor Responsibility in Record-keeping
  • Division of Responsibility in Counselling

Learning Outcome

  • Present an overview of the counsellor's ethical responsibilities
  • Explain the importance of and need for self-awareness and self-monitoring, in minimising countertransference issues in counselling
  • Recognise the importance of values and multicultural perspectives in counselling
  • Differentiate between boundary crossing and boundary violation
  • Interpret the ethical guidelines reagrding confidentiality, and its limitations
  • Examine the place of informed consent int he cousnellor-client relationship
  • Apply the Code of Ethics to guide counselling practices
  • Demonstrate ethical thinking and ethical decision-making abilities in counselling
  • Recognise transference and countertransference in counselling, and deal with these appropriately
  • Analyse value conflicts in counselling, and handle these effectively
  • Develop skills in managing multiple relationships and professional boundaries in counselling
  • Examine the clinical implications of record-keeping
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